I’ve come a long way since I started this blog in 2010. I spent years barely getting off the couch, wrapped in brain fog, pain, and fatigue. But, in 2012 that started to change. I’d had enough and finally decided I was willing to try anything. Below is the list of the things I tried and found worthy… things I continue to use to help me feel better.
Changes That Have Helped Me Most
Diet change – This is what started it all for me. Diet change for me has meant fresh juice on a daily basis (green juice, not fruit juice). It’s also meant discontinuing wheat/gluten, dairy, eggs, and yeast from my diet. It wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t fun, but it’s definitely been worth it. I found quickly that really cleaning up my diet and juicing gave me a lot of energy back, and really cut the pain I felt. I continue to try to eat really clean, avoiding a lot of processed foods, but we do eat out a lot more than we did in those early days. When we are at home, my diet is green juice and fruit for breakfast, something random for lunch (if I eat lunch) and for dinner we usually eat grilled meat and a salad.
Nightly Epsom Salt Bath – This is something I actually started very early in my illness and I stick with it. Not only do the epsom salts (and the essential oils that I add to them) help me relax at night, but it helps me establish a bedtime routine. During my bath, I read with my Kindle set to white text on black background, and the lights out. This helps my eyes and mind adjust to the idea of going to bed. While reading I drink my Serenitea (see below). I find that when I don’t do this I have a much harder time falling asleep and tend to wake up more rigid.
Lifestyle change – My sleep still sucks, but it’s better than it used to be. The nightly bath is just one of the many lifestyle changes I’ve made over the years. Going to bed at a regular time is a big part of that. Most nights I had to the bath between 8:30 and 9pm, and I’m in bed by about 10pm. I don’t stick to this on the weekends these days as we are, more often than not, out later on the weekends. But, I still take a bath when I get home regardless of the time. I also do a lot during the day to pace myself. I set limits on how much I try to get done in a day, how many places I try to run. I don’t try to have lunch with a friend then do something again that evening that has me out of the house. I say No a lot more than I used to. And, I breathe. Sometimes just sitting and taking a few deep calming breaths makes a huge difference in how I feel, especially if I’m letting the stress of the day get to me. Stress is a huge factor in my illness and when stress gets higher I notice my body tense and then the pain increases. In reality, everything I do really comes down to controlling stress.
Products That Have Helped Me Most
FibroCane Daily & Serenitea – Both of this products are from FibroCane. You can check out my original review of them here. FibroCane Daily is a multi-vitamin specifically formulated for those of us with Fibromyalgia. I found that taking it definitely helps my energy throughout the day. I’ve swapped it out several times for other similar products and have never had results as good. Serenitea is an herbal tea that helps calm and relax you, making it easier to sleep. I really like the taste of it and I find the effects comparable to Yogi Sleepytime tea. I’ve continued to use both of these daily for more the last few years.
CBD products from The Fay Farm – In 2014 I did something to my shoulder.. we still don’t know what. A year later, when The Fay Farm first sent me a sample of their Warming Muscle Rub I was still in pain. I’d tried a lot of things at that point and the Warming Muscle Rub was the only thing to that point that had helped. In the years since The Fay Farm has come out with many other great CBD-based products. I regularly use their Rejuvenation and Serenity lotions, both of which contain magnesium and CBD (Hemp) oil. The lotions both help with pain and promote muscle relaxation, making it easier to sleep.
Oska Pulse – I was skeptical about this device when they sent it to me. When I received it I’d been dealing with the shoulder issue for almost three years. PT had relieved the pain to a degree, but I was still unable to do many things (write by hand, wear a bra, paint, work-out). After several months of inconsistent use I saw a major improvement when I attended a conference and sat down and wrote for two days straight. Oska Pulse uses Pulse Electro-magnetic Frequency to heal cells. It doesn’t vibrate or make any noise and doesn’t do anything to let you know it’s working, until you suddenly realize it’s worked. These days I’m doing all those things that I wasn’t able to do, and without any added pain. The Oska Pulse also helped me heal faster after surgery.
Vital Plan Restore Kit – The Restore Kit from Vital Plan is a huge protocol of herbal supplements. Dr. Bill Rawls, who also lives with CFS/ Fibro/ Lyme created this protocol while searching for answers to help himself recover. I didn’t really notice how much it was helping, until I had to stop taking it. Then I realized just how much more I’d been doing during the previous couple of months. It’s amazing how you don’t realize what you have until it’s gone. It’s a lot of pills to take, but it’s worth it.
Supplements – I take a ton of supplements. The Vital Plan alone is 24 pills / day, but I take more on top of that. I also take A-drenal, monolaurin, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin D, Fish Oil (has been amazing for my eyes).
There are other products I use and that I love, but I’d say that overall the products and things that I’ve listed here are the ones I’ve found most beneficial. These are the things that I notice the biggest difference when I’m without and that I’ve found the most help by having on hand. If you’d like, you can take a look at some of the other products I enjoy here.